You have a chance to walleye fish with the best on the Illinois River

By: Steve Rogers — Herald Correspondent

Americans are a very competitive people. We like to both watch and be involved with competition. Who’s better? What team is better? Who is the best? The recent Super Bowl is a testament to this very competitive nature of our country.

Fishing is no different. Even when I was a young boy out on the lake with my father and brother, there was always an understood competition going on. If I caught the most on a specific day, my brother was quick to point out that he caught the biggest. If neither of us did very well, my father was instantly claiming bragging rights.

As an angler progresses throughout their lifetime, they often wonder how good they are. I can outfish my buddies, but how does that compare to other good anglers? Usually this determination to be the best involves joining a local club and participating in small tournaments on a local lake or river. The winner of these events claims bragging rights until the next event in which someone else will try to take over that title.

For some, the desire to prove oneself makes them take their skills to the next level. They may choose to fish more regional tournaments and match wits with top anglers from a five- or six-state area. These events can really challenge your abilities because often times they are fished on waters that are not your home turf.

If you can survive the mental, physical and financial challenges of fishing at the regional level, then you may push forward to a more national circuit.
These events attract the best anglers from across a multi-state area. These events are also much more costly to enter, but the payoff can be big. Some national championship events pay out $500,000 to a single winner!

There are tournaments for just about every type of fish that swims. By far and away, bass tournaments are the most abundant and the most popular. But there are catfish tournaments, crappie tournaments and numerous others. One of these is making its way to Spring Valley, Ill. in just a few weeks.
Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit will kick off its season opener on the Illinois River on March 24 and 25.

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